A Movie Entry – Thoughts on ‘Batman Forever’

Everyone gives this movie such a bad review and cites it as the precipitous decline in the ’80s ‘Batman’ franchise that directly led to the franchise-killer Batman & Robin. I actually watched Batman Forever in a dollar theater, and pretty much hadn’t thought about it since. Well, until there was a sale on RiffTrax and I decided to check it out again. It’s actually not as bad as all that. I really don’t think it’s any worse than Batman Returns although the flaws are of a completely different nature.

Continue reading A Movie Entry – Thoughts on ‘Batman Forever’

A Comic Book/TV Entry – Get Your Cape On

or, “My Little Heroine: Friendship is a Superpower”
or, “Thoughts on Gendered Marketing via ‘DC Super Hero Girls'”

Continue reading A Comic Book/TV Entry – Get Your Cape On

A Movie Entry – 10 Things I Learned from Avengers: Infinity War

So “Daddy issues is the true universal constant” isn’t on this list because I’ve already learned that from previous MCU movies, although I will say that is reinforced here.

1) Asgard has rabbits but apparently not raccoons.
2) Rocket either really likes Thor, or really likes weapons.
3) Vision is fully-functional.
4) The Hulk has never known fear, and is terrible at dealing with it.
5) Tony Stark, a noted genius, remains remarkably short-sighted when it comes to anticipating what other people will say, do, think or feel.
6) The Cloak of Levitation is a sentient being.
7) Bruce and Black Widow still apparently have some chemistry between them.
8) There is always time for quips.
9) Captain Marvel can be reached with a circa 1990s pager.
10) Dark Helmet was right – “Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.”

A Movie Entry – 10 Things I Learned From Black Panther

1) Yep, the universal constant is daddy issues.
2) Team MCU can create a well-rounded sympathetic villain not named Loki.
3) Not only is Wakanda awesome, everyone in Wakanda is totally kick-ass.
4) Princess Shuri is far and away the best Disney princess.
5) Apparently Agent Ross was the only non-Avenger paying attention to Black Panther during “Civil War.”
6) Keeping ancient traditions isn’t a bad thing, but maybe it’s not good to have a traditional physical fight actually determine rulership.
7) I like all the protagonists so much I actually can’t decide which one I like best, and that is quite the compliment.
8) Vibranium is practically magic.
9) Team MCU can still create a mostly self-contained solo movie, which I appreciate.
10) Team MCU can also create a mostly serious movie, which I also appreciate.

Other thoughts – this is one of the best movies, if not the best movie, in the MCU catalogue. It’s primarily a political and family drama with some kick-ass action sequences. There’s not a lot of levity and certainly no quips or zingers, but that would have not worked in this movie. I hope the MCU has some more of these in waiting.

Storytelling Successes – Wonder Woman (Part 2 of 2)

Continued from Part 1 –

The Main Attraction:
1) Character – As an origin story, this success of this movie is entirely dependent  on how engaged the audience is with Diana and therefore Diana’s story. Shockingly this seemingly common sense bit of storytelling is lost on many contemporary film makers / studios (who then wonder why their big budget tent-pole blockbuster failed harder than the 2017 Cleveland Browns).

Continue reading Storytelling Successes – Wonder Woman (Part 2 of 2)

Storytelling Successes – Wonder Woman (Part 1 of 2)

This movie was almost creaking from the weight of the expectations heaped upon it. From being a female-led superhero movie, to being a female directed movie, to representing 75+ years of comic fandom, to being a chance for WB/DC to finally make a decent DCEU movie, it’s no wonder my hopes for it dropped to “please don’t suck.” As such, there’s a lot to unpack with the success of the movie.

Continue reading Storytelling Successes – Wonder Woman (Part 1 of 2)

A Comic Book/Movie Entry – 10 Things I Learned from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

1) Max Planck was wrong. The universal constant is apparently daddy issues. I mean, wow.
2) Earth people do have a lot of hang-ups.
3) Rocket is not a raccoon, but he may want to start telling people that because the alternative names are much worse.
4) No, nobody has any tape.
5) Baby Groot is so adorable even vicious space pirates won’t kill him.
6) The creative team is clearly well-versed in Marvel Comics’ galactic lore.
7) Peter should really trust Gamora’s instincts on recognizing dangerous situations.
8) Do NOT get on Yondu’s bad side.
9) Never underestimate the power of friendship/love.
10) There is honor among thieves.

I really enjoyed this movie although some of the abrupt transitions suggest edits that weren’t smoothed over. I’m sure I missed lots of easter eggs (this movie was jam-packed with them). Alternate titles include, “How Peter Got His Groove Back,” and “Peter and the Amazing Technicolor Cosmos.” I’m glad Gamora and Nebula got some time devoted to their arc. In the first movie, all we were told about Nebula was she was Gamora’s sister and wanted her dead. It was good to have those reasons explored. And goodness there was a lot of color in the cosmos. I feel like the movie team is giving a solid “nah nah” to the grimdark color palette of WB/DC (and a lot of other movies, frankly). My only objection is that several of the characters have merely a passing resemblance to their comic counterparts. I understand why, but it is still a little annoying to see Yondu the Alpha Centauri equivalent of the Dalai Lama being turned into a vicious, greedy space pirate (who is definitely not Mary Poppins, y’all).